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Emory College grads achieve excellent outcomes in job market and grad school
students in conversation

At a recent Pathways Center networking event, Emory College senior Anya Kasubhai (center) and other students enjoyed access to career advice from alumni in the government, policy, legal, education and nonprofit industries.

— Moses Sparks, Radar Creative

Emory’s Class of 2023 graduated last May well equipped to start their careers, landing jobs or graduate school placements around the world.

The annual Career and Professional Development survey conducted six months after Commencement shows that 97% of 2023 graduates were working or continuing their education. Another 1% reported volunteering, leaving just 2% who were seeking their next step.

Those outcomes were slightly higher than outcomes for the Class of 2022, which had about 95% reporting that they were working, studying or volunteering.

This year’s graduating class looks to continue that positive arc and reaffirms the value that employers and graduate schools place on liberal arts skillsets, such as creative problem-solving, appreciation for learning new knowledge, critical thinking and strong communication.

It also reflects how the first year of Emory’s Pathways Center — which integrates multiple programs focused on career discernment and development — helps students visualize ways to translate those skills into professional lives of meaning and consequence.

“We want every Emory student to cultivate curiosity, test out their theories of career identity through experiential learning, and make connections with alumni,” says Branden Grimmett, who leads the Pathways Center as vice provost for career and professional development and Emory College associate dean.

“Career clarity is not achieved simply through thinking about one’s future — it requires action,” Grimmett says. “The Pathways Center has established a robust set of opportunities to help students try various fields and industries within a safe and supportive environment.”

Pathways officials report that last spring’s job market was robust for recent graduates, especially in the health care, finance, government/nonprofit and technology fields.

Asia Waller, the director of recruiting and employer development at Pathways, expects a similar market this year, though Pathways officials encourage seniors and other students to connect with the center’s resources and programs for the latest job openings and opportunities.

“There is a good mix of opportunities out there in different industries, and the market is more robust than last year,” Waller says. “A lot of the opportunities require the transferrable skills Emory students are known for developing.”

Graduate school placements were also exceptional for the Class of 2023.

Surpassing the national average by 9%, the law school acceptance rate for Emory graduates reached an outstanding 78%, with notable admissions to Emory, Georgia State, Georgetown and NYU. The medical school acceptance rate for the 2023 application cycle for Emory students was 65%, exceeding the national average by 19%.

Career discernment for liberal arts students

Elizabeth Hsieh is among the 2023 graduates who took full advantage of Pathways programs and other Emory opportunities to find her way.

An English major, Hsieh networked with professors to land an internship building a database of short stories at the literary studio Plympton.

Meeting with Carol Riddock, the associate director of pre-law advising in Career and Professional Development within Pathways, helped Hsieh secure internships at the Carter Center and New American Pathways.

Riddock also supported Hsieh’s undergraduate research work, helping with administrative tasks and qualitative research related to assistant nursing professor Glenna Brewster’s intervention program for the caregivers of people with dementia.

That experience gave Hsieh a sense of how she would handle new tasks and collaborate with a supervisor. She uses those skills daily as a legal analyst with the Dover & Luner law firm in California — which in turn has reinforced that a legal career is her best fit. She plans to apply to law school in the next year.

“Carol made me feel supported in exploring all sorts of options for what felt right and most stimulating for me,” Hsieh says. “I feel like Emory prepared me to take on a job where I would do well by learning new things all the time.” 

Intentional steps toward grad school

Emory’s pre-health advising team helps students whose trajectory calls for building on their skills through graduate school. The opt-in programming provides peer and professional mentors to guide undergraduates interested in health care professions, from dentistry to physical therapy to veterinary medicine.

Emory launched the team 15 years ago to supplement academic advisors on course sequencing and to offer hands-on guidance with test preparation, application advising and social support.

Pre-health advising director Kim Molee explains that engagement has grown every year in the program, particularly now that it is a visible component within the Pathways Center.

“There are a lot of intentional steps, from students’ first years and into gap years, to ensure that they can be competitive for any graduate or health care program they select,” Molee says. “We talk in detail about holistic development and keep it as universal as we can, so they can consider their best path.”

Emory’s resources and ethos also reinforce the idea that the concept of the best path is apt to change throughout students’ experiences.

Peter Cooke experienced that shift as an undergraduate. He didn’t feel certain about his planned path of law school, even after completing an undergraduate research project on urban policy and finishing his political science and sociology double major studies in his junior year.

But something clicked when he began helping with photography and social media coverage for the university’s pre-college summer program.

He found the writing skills and creativity from his majors translated well in the communications role. During his senior year, Cooke further sharpened his marketing skills by continuing to work with the Office of International and Summer Programs and as a social media ambassador for Emory College.

It became clear that law school was no longer the best fit. The day after Commencement, the engineering consultancy Arcadis offered Cooke a yearlong communications internship. He accepted and has used the experience to further develop his project management and content management skills.

He plans to look for a marketing and communications role next — ideally in music or entertainment, due to his background as a trained cellist. Also on Cooke’s to-do list this spring?  Reach out to the Pathways Center about possible alumni mentors or advisers who can aid in his career development.

“Emory academically is great,” Cooke says. “But it’s the programs and the activities and the resources that helped me find myself and develop my skills. That community is what makes Emory so special.”

Survey data from Emory Career and Professional Development show that 98% of 2023 graduates are pursuing chosen opportunities, such as starting careers, graduate school and volunteering, within six months of graduation.

Here’s how the Class of 2023 is finding success after graduation:

  • 60% are employed
  • 37% are attending graduate school
  • 1% are volunteering or in the military

Check out the Emory Career and Professional Development website for more information on class outcomes, including top employers and graduate schools.

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